In the majority of research on attitudes to forestry or why people plant their land – source of income coupled with poor economic return from other farm enterprises ranks number 1 in the decision to plant.
Forestry income is a sustainable alternative for marginal land. The average forest premium payment is €550/hectare. Landowners can still claim their Single Farm Payment average of €250/hectare (West of Ireland) which will yield the average landowner up to €800/hectare under forestry. The average profit per hectare for Suckler to Beef Farms (Teagasc e-profit Monitor Analysis – Dry-stock Farms, 2013) is €576/hectare including farm premier payments. This forestry income per ha also has the added advantage of being income tax free.
Please note as of January 2015 all landowners will qualify automatically for the Higher Premium Rate (there is no longer a farmer and non-farmer rate).